Top view of a men's head with a receding hair line - Before and After

Everything You Need to Know About Maintaining Scalp Micropigmentation

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that male pattern baldness affects a third of white men below 30 years old. By the time they reach 70 years of age, more than 80% of them are expected to go bald. The permanent loss of hair is less common among African-American males and is slower in Asian men.

While hair restoration techniques aren’t exactly embraced a decade ago, it has grown 60% since 2014. In fact, there are multitudes of hair restoration treatments nowadays, and more treatment salons are undergoing micropigmentation training in Las Vegas, Nevada and other key cities in the U.S. Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) drew a strong following in the years since it was first introduced.

Pre-caring for Your Scalp Prior to SMP Sessions

•    Do not take any blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen prior to the first session and succeeding sessions. If you take these medications regularly, please see your physician first if you can stop taking them for 48 hours before each SMP session.

•    You cannot drink alcohol a day before the treatment. You should avoid drinking caffeine, too, because it might make the procedure more painful.

•    You need to shave your head a few days before the first session because you can identify all the marks and scars that you would either decide to cover up with pigments or leave them be. If you suffer from dry skin, you can also moisturize your scalp properly before the treatment.

•    Use a pencil or any temporary marker (an eyeliner) to draw a mock-up of the potential hairline position you want. Take photos as reference and show the technician the shape that you want.

•    Read up about SMP and familiarize yourself with the process. You don’t want to get caught blindsided by the process during the initial session. You won’t need painkillers even if you are too sensitive to pain. SMP treatments have only mild discomfort.

Short-term Care After Every SMP Session

•    After every session, do not wet your head for three to five days. At the same time, avoid any activities that will cause your scalp to sweat profusely. This means avoiding the gym and sauna. You may also want to avoid walking under the heat for an extended number of hours because your scalp is still sensitive.

•    There might be a bit of swelling during the first few days after the session. Do not worry as this is normal. You may put some ice in a plastic bag and put it on the affected area, but you must be careful as the moisture from the bag can wet your scalp.

•    On the fourth or fifth day, you can use water to wash your scalp and prepare to moisturize for the next session.

•    On the seventh day, clean your scalp with the mildest facial wash you have. Again, never try to exfoliate after the treatment.

Long-term Care for SMP

Bald man checking his head in the mirror

Once the treatment is finished and your scalp has healed, you have to wait 30 days before going back to your normal routine. By then, these are what you need to do to maintain the pigments on your scalp:

•    Apply sunscreen on your scalp to ensure the maximum protection and preservation of the pigmentation.

•    Do not use cosmetics or other products with high levels of alcohol in them.

•    You can now exfoliate as often as you can to keep your scalp smooth and avoid the appearances of dry skin. You also need to put moisturizer on your scalp every day.

Over the years, the pigmentation may start to fade. This is normal, and you will need to undergo only small touch-up procedures to retain the color of your scalp. But if well taken care of, SMP can last from eight to 15 years.